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When it comes to detecting and removing malware, you might have used or at least heard of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. We’ve covered it before Stop & Delete Spyware With Malwarebytes for Windows Stop & Delete Spyware With Malwarebytes for Windows Read More , but perhaps you want to try a different solution for your on-demand scanning needs.

Even if you swear by Malwarebytes, it’s not a bad idea to scan with multiple one time-scanners Make Sure You're Clean With These Free One-Time Scan Antivirus Tools [Windows] Make Sure You're Clean With These Free One-Time Scan Antivirus Tools [Windows] It sucks to be constantly bombarded by computer-related threats, whether they’re spyware, malware, viruses, keyloggers, or whatever else. A popular way to combat this problem is to install an antivirus solution that sits in the... Read More once in a while. If you’ve been looking for a new tool to add to your security arsenal, perhaps SUPERAntiSpyware is right for you.

Setting Up

The name SUPERAntiSpyware (SAS) sounds a bit shady, almost like a fake antivirus program Detect Fake Antivirus software & Spyware Removal programs Detect Fake Antivirus software & Spyware Removal programs Read More , but rest assured that it’s a reputable service. It’s also a bit of a misnomer: the program detects all sorts of malware What Is The Difference Between A Worm, A Trojan & A Virus? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is The Difference Between A Worm, A Trojan & A Virus? [MakeUseOf Explains] Some people call any type of malicious software a "computer virus," but that isn't accurate. Viruses, worms, and trojans are different types of malicious software with different behaviors. In particular, they spread themselves in very... Read More , not just spyware. With that in mind, to get started, head to the program’s homepage, where you’ll be greeted with a few options:

SAS Homepage

The free edition is what most people will want. There’s also a portable edition, which will be discussed later, and a Professional edition for $30. For now, let’s go with the free edition. The installation for the program is standard and does not try to force any unwanted third-party junk on you.

The only real choice you have to make during the installation is whether to install the program for every user on your computer or just the current one; this is up to you. Also on this screen, if you bought the Professional version you can enter the key for it, but you probably don’t want to put down any money until you’re sure you like the free program.

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SAS Installation

After setup, you’ll have the option to enable a free trial of SAS – you won’t be charged when it expires, so it’s a good way to find out if the Pro features are worth it for you.

Using SUPERAntiSpyware’s Scans

After the quick setup, you’ll be greeted with the main interface of SUPERAntiSpyware.

SAS Main Screen

From here, you can see that SAS offers a few different types of scans:

  • A Quick Scan is the standard scan and checks places where malware would likely be found.
  • A Critical Point Scan is faster than a Quick Scan and briefly checks the most common spots where malware hides.
  • A Custom Scan allows you to tell SUPERAntiSpyware what you want it to scan. If you choose this scan type, you’ll be given some more options. If you’d like to exclude certain locations or file types from your scan, you have the option to do that here.

SAS Custom Scan

  • Finally, a Complete Scan scans your entire system. Obviously, it will take the longest time, but will also have the highest rate of return. Like the Custom Scan, a Complete Scan offers some options, such as scanning any additional drives connected to your computer.
    One other notable option is to enable Scan Boost, which lets SAS utilize more of your CPU’s power. If you’re going to be away from your computer while scanning, this makes sense to enable. Both the Low and High options will speed up the process, if your system can spare the resources.

SAS Complete Scan

Also on the main screen are options to upgrade to the Professional edition and update the program database. You should always update the database before you run a scan to ensure that you have the latest information; otherwise you might miss some newer types of infections.

The Rescue Scan should only be used when malware is hogging system resources; when it’s enabled, SAS will attempt to “steal back” some of those resources so that a scan can run. If you’re able to run a normal scan, you don’t have to worry about using this option.

Tweaking Options

It’s certainly worth digging into the Program Settings menu of SUPERAntiSpyware, as you may wish to change some default settings to change behaviors. Once you click the button on the main interface, you’ll see the options screen.

SAS Options

Not everything here is terribly interesting; you probably won’t have to take a look at the Quarantine or Scan Logs unless you accidentally quarantine a file or need to send scan logs to someone.

The Preferences sub-menu allows you to tweak how the program behaves, however, and is a good first stop after a fresh installation of SAS.

SAS Preferences - General

By default, SAS will start with Windows. As running many programs at startup Make Windows Start Faster: 10 Non-Essential Startup Items You Can Safely Remove Make Windows Start Faster: 10 Non-Essential Startup Items You Can Safely Remove So your computer has been booting slowly lately? You probably have too many programs and services trying to start up all at once. Are you wondering how they got there and how to remove them? Read More can slow down your boot time, there’s no reason to add yet another entry to the startup list. If you’re using the free edition of SUPERAntiSpyware, it can only be used as an on-demand scanner anyway, so there’s no use having it run at boot.

If you’d like to save time and have the program run a scan as soon as it opens, that option is available as well. If you choose to allow this, be sure to check the box below to force SAS to update before it runs this type of scan, for the same reason mentioned above.

On the next tab, more noteworthy options appear.

SAS Scanning Preferences

The recommended options can be left as they are unless you want absolutely every file on your computer scanned – it’s very unlikely that a piece of malware would be greater than 4MB. Skipping these large files saves time in the scan, as well.

One option you may want to disable, however, is “Scan for tracking cookies.” If you’ve read Joel’s explanation of cookies What's A Cookie & What Does It Have To Do With My Privacy? [MakeUseOf Explains] What's A Cookie & What Does It Have To Do With My Privacy? [MakeUseOf Explains] Most people know that there are cookies scattered all over the Internet, ready and willing to be eaten up by whoever can find them first. Wait, what? That can’t be right. Yes, there are cookies... Read More , you know that cookies are not necessarily bad. However, some third-party cookies may be used to track your browsing, usually to bring you more relevant ads Why Am I Seeing This Ad? How Social Media Ads Target You Why Am I Seeing This Ad? How Social Media Ads Target You Every social media site out there shows us ads. But sometimes, those ads can get very specific towards you, often showing you ads that seem creepy and stalkerish. How do they do that? Read More .

By default, SUPERAntiSpyware will flag these cookies in its scan results, although they aren’t really malware. If you’d rather not see them in scan results, unchecking this option will make sure you only see more serious problems.

SAS Scan Results

Another useful option in this tab allows you to set certain applications as trusted, as well as to globally exclude certain folders from all of your scans. If you have a program that comes up as a false positive or some folder that you know isn’t a problem, take a look at these options. Otherwise, it’s best to leave them alone.

The Real-Time Protection tab’s options are only available for Professional users of SAS.

SAS Real Time Preferences

If you’re interested in what the Pro version contains, check the Professional section below.

The Hi-Jack protection section lets SAS lock down your browser from hijackings 3 Essential Steps To Get Rid Of Chrome Hijackers In Minutes 3 Essential Steps To Get Rid Of Chrome Hijackers In Minutes Have you ever opened your browser of choice and been greeted with a bizarre-looking start page or an unsightly toolbar glued to the top of the page? Restore your browser to tip-top shape. Read More .

SAS Hijack Preferences

If enabled, you can have SAS notify you when a program tries to change your home page without you knowing, or prevent it from being changed at all. It’s also wise to prevent other applications from trying to close SAS, which some forms of malware might attempt to do. Make sure you can still close it from the task manager, however, in case it freezes up.

The Updates tab, unsurprisingly, lets you change how SAS deals with updating.

SAS Update

If you’re a Pro user, SUPERAntiSpyware can be set to update itself. If you’re using the Free version, you can be notified when you haven’t checked for updates in a while. It’s wise to set this to a low number; that way when you open the program for the first time in a while you’ll be prompted to update it right away.

The Help tab shouldn’t need any explanation; if you want to contact SAS customer service, purchase the Pro edition, or view the current program version, have a look here.

SAS Help

Outside the Preferences menu, the only other notable option for Free users is Repairs, found under System Tools. If malware has being toying with your system and you want to reset some Windows options to their defaults, this could help you out.

SAS Repairs

As you can see in the screenshot, places that malware might mess with, like the Task Manager, your browser’s homepage, or the System Tray, can be reset to default and placed back in your reach. Do be careful with these options; if you’re experiencing problems they’re worth a try, but don’t try any that you don’t need.

Professional Edition Features

If you’ve decided that you like SUPERAntiSpyware and want to access its full feature list, you’ll want to upgrade to the Professional edition. The full price is $30 for a year, but on the download page for the free version you’ll find a link for “Today’s Special Offer,” the Pro version for $19.95 – as far as I know, this offer is available anytime, so if you’re interested you may as well get it cheaper.

Even better, if you uninstall the Free version you’ll be taken to a page where you can purchase the Pro version for just $10. It’s worth doing to get a better price!

15-SAS-Discount

Some of the features of the Pro version include:

  • Real-time protection, which constantly looks for threats instead of only on-demand scanning. SUPERAntiSpyware claims to be compatible with other anti-malware and antivirus products, so running it in real-time shouldn’t cause any trouble. Running two full antivirus programs at the same time can cause problems, but since SAS is an anti-malware program it should run peacefully with whatever full antivirus you choose.
  • Scheduled scanning; useful so you don’t have to remember to run a scan. A set-and-forget daily scan is better than only scanning when you remember to do so.
  • Automatic database updates, so you don’t have to manually run an update before you scan.
  • Premium customer service if you ever have a problem.

SAS Pro

It’s up to you if the Pro version is worth it. Since I only use SUPERAntiSpyware as a second-opinion on-demand scanner, I don’t find it necessary to upgrade. If you’re on the fence, a full 15-day free trial of the Professional edition is available. For most users, however, the Free version should suffice.

SUPERAntiSpyware Portable

SUPERAntiSpyware offers a portable scanner that is fully equipped to find and remove malware. The portable scanner contains the latest definitions when you download it, so you don’t have to have Internet access on the infected computer. It’s also saved under a random file name, so that malware will be less likely to detect when it runs.

If you need to clean up a computer that’s highly infected and can’t get it online, the SAS portable scanner is a good option to try. It’s also a useful tool to carry around on a flash drive or put in Dropbox if you’re into portable apps. If you do that, you’ll have a strong anti-malware tool to use wherever you go.

Conclusion

In conclusion, SUPERAntiSpyware is a worthwhile addition to any anti-malware library. I still prefer Malwarebytes as a primary scanner, but it’s a good idea to keep another program around for a second opinion. Whether you don’t have a preferred program to detect and remove infections, or you’re someone looking for maximum security on your computer, I recommend trying SUPERAntiSpyware. While the Pro features may not be worth paying for, anyone can benefit from running an occasional scan with it, and it makes a great portable security tool.

Have you tried SUPERAntiSpyware? What do you think of its features? Do you use a different anti-malware program? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Image Credits: cockroach Via Shutterstock, boxing ring Via Shutterstock

  1. zeighty
    May 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Opinions... everybody has one.. here's mine...
    SAS Portable has been a huge time saver. Malware Bytes was spanked by the fake AV (FAV) malware a coulpe of years ago. Would MWB start to run and FAV shut it down. SASP chopped it off at the knees. Saved many of my customers big headaches.
    I do not like to leave this kind of s/w installed, so another bonus of the portable version.
    Granted, I have not tried MWB 2.0... if it has a portable version I will give it a go.
    Cheers!

    • Ben S
      May 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      As far as I know, Malwarebytes still does not have a portable version, so you may be out of luck. The new update is pretty awesome though!

  2. Alan W
    April 30, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Do you think it is better than MalwareBytes? IMO it isnt! SAS or at least SAS on my system was full of nagware.

    • Ben S
      April 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      Alan,

      As I stated at the end of the piece, I do still prefer MBAM. I think SAS is a good program, and good to keep around for an occasional scan or second opinion. The portable feature is also a selling point.

      However, if I had to pick just one, it would be Malwarebytes hands down.

  3. Craig S
    April 30, 2014 at 9:13 am

    SAS has been one of my hidden secrets when the relatives end up with 200 different trojans. I really love that it has a portable version. Not many tools of this nature can run that way. This and MBAM have resolved hours of headaches for me.

    • Ben S
      April 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      I can definitely relate on having to fix up relatives' computers - and having a portable version is awesome. Keeping it on a flash drive means you're always ready. I'm so glad we have these tools.

  4. intelligencia
    April 30, 2014 at 2:42 am

    I have tried SAS on a few occasions and it consistently caused performance issues on my computer system . . . Bottom Line . . . MBAM is the absolute Joint . . . and I'm really lovin' the new 2.0 version!!!

    • Ben S
      April 30, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Glad you've tried it! Not sure why it caused issues, but if MBAM works for you I'm glad. SAS is worth keeping around for a second scan once in a while, in my opinion.

  5. Psc.usa
    April 29, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    With the advent of Malwarebytes 2.0, the use of SuperAntiVirus is completely pointless. I use the Pro version, and with the upgrade to 2.0 it is unbelievable how thorough Malwarebytes Pro is.
    SuperAntiVirus? Not at this time (if ever).

    • Ben S
      April 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      I am a big fan of Malwarebytes 2.0 and am a Premium user of it myself.

      I assume you mean SuperAntiSpyware, not SuperAntiVirus. It's not necessary to have both, but I wanted to shed some light on a good program. It's always good to have a second opinion.

  6. Bud
    April 29, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Thank goodness I have and use a Mac with sufficient protections !

    With recent news of a serious loophole in Windows OS's, I'm tickled pink I no longer have or use any Windows-based PC's !!!

    • mic hall
      April 29, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Living the fantasy? Mac’s are NOT immune to spyware.

    • Ben S
      April 29, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Mic is right, Bud, Macs are not immune to problems.

      While many annoyances present in Windows don't plague Macs, security issues like Heartbleed still affect you no matter what OS you've been using, so be sure to keep up to date on things like that. Keep strong passwords.

    • John W
      April 29, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Macs are used for "creative" work - not worth stealing. All the hard work, the government, the civil engineering and the money is done on PC's - that's why they are hacked.

      There are no Macs in NASA. Look at all the IBM Thinkpads Velcroed to the Shuttle cockpit. Macs have no COM port - totally useless for science and engineering

    • David Z
      May 18, 2015 at 7:27 am

      Is this the space to reply to John W? Who on 4-29-14 --more than a year ago-- wrote "Macs are used for “creative” work – not worth stealing. All the hard work, the government, the civil engineering and the money is done on PC’s – that’s why they are hacked."

      What species of IDIOT are you!!!?? Hopefully, not homo sapien (but sadly, probably you ARE human)!! No one uses a Mac for anything worth stealing? I SINCERELY HOPE that shortly after you wrote that liquid TURD of Human Observations, your identity was stolen and credit left in ruin!!!

      Sadly, that would mean that ALL of us, EVERY SINGLE ONE of us in the USA - and everyone in other countries to a lesser degree -- will pay for YOUR Idiocy. That is to say, ALL of us will pay in lost dollars, pesos, whatever (both thinking, Intelligent Humans, and Human TURDS like YOU, alike) will pay in lost value/income when someone steals your identity.

      The taking by intentional thieves, passive thieves (and other lazy idealist/socialist/naive USA democratic voters) who ascribe to or believe this kind of BS NAIVETIVITY, you all DESERVE to be collectively Ripped-OFF because of stupid, A**HOLES who think (and write) garbage thoughts like this. Intelligent, thinking, productive WORKERS deserve better.

  7. Jeff
    April 28, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Nice article. The only aggravating feature I found was the checked by default Google Chrome addition when installing.

    • Ben S
      April 29, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Odd; I've never encountered this with SAS. I even uninstalled the program during the writing of the article so I could get the screenshot of the setup and was never offered Chrome. Perhaps it only offers this if you don't already have Chrome installed, but I doubt it.

  8. Keith Brooks
    April 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I've used it, Pro version, Malwarebytes free and Bitdefender Internet Security for year's. It is better than anything at finding tracking cookies. I've got the real-time protection disabled, so it doesn't conflict with Bitdefender.

    • likefunbutnot
      April 28, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      The best combination of protection that I have found comes from Spybot and Spywareblaster's Immunization functions, combined with Adblock+ on all installed browsers. Antivirus software at that point is almost an afterthought, though I normally recommend Avast Free, which ironically is a better product than the paid version. Malwarebytes completes my toolkit as a broad-spectrum removal tool, and I have a number of Ninite installers that still include Flash along with most of the usual suspects for third-party software updates applicable to home computer use.

      I truly do not believe that it is wise to rely on any single security product on an unmanaged Windows PC.

    • Ben S
      April 29, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      Keith, sounds like you have a good setup! Glad it works for you.

      ILikeFun, sounds like you have a great system too! I agree that for average users, one measure isn't enough. Layered security is important.

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